lemon curd for cake filling in a small jar with a spoon on the side

5 Ingredient Thick Lemon Curd Cake Filling

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Embrace the vibrant zing of lemons with a delectable creation that’s a staple in every dessert lover’s repertoire – homemade lemon curd cake filling. Whether you spread it on scones, layer it in cakes, or simply indulge by the spoonful, this tangy and luscious delight is a surefire way to brighten up your culinary creations.

homemade lemon curd for cake filling in small jar with blue striped towel

There’s something magical about crafting your own lemon curd cake filling from scratch. The irresistible appeal of its bright yellow hue and the invigorating fresh lemon flavor are simply unparalleled.

Why We Love This Recipe for Perfect Thick Lemon Curd

  • Flavor Fusion: The marriage of tart lemons and the subtle sweetness of sugar creates a flavor symphony that dances on your taste buds.  Just the perfect balance of tart and sweet.
  • Endless Versatility: Lemon curd isn’t just a spread; it’s a versatile ingredient that can be used in cakes, tarts, parfaits, and more.
  • Handful of Ingredients: Only use 5 ingredients which you likely will already have on hand.
  • Easy to Make: This easy recipe whips up fast for a last minute dessert.
  • Adds Elegance to Desserts:  Adding this intense lemon flavor topping to a simple dessert makes it appear like you spent all day to create it.
  • Stores and Freezes Well: Perfect to make ahead and use as needed.

Equipment Suggested

  • Double boiler or heavy saucepan
  • Lemon Zester
  • Juicer – Of course, you can always squeeze by hand but I LOVE this electic juicer. Makes it so easy to extract the juice for any recipe or lemonade. I use it all the time, especially in the Summer.

Ingredients for Homemade 5 Ingredient Lemon Curd Cake Filling

(Exact measurements in recipe card below)

  • unsalted butter
  • granulated sugar
  • eggs – large
  • lemon juice – fresh squeezed is best
  • lemon zest
ingredients for homemade lemon curd

How to Make Creamy Lemon Curd Cake Filling at Home

  1. In a mixing bowl, use a hand mixer to beat the butter.
  2. Add the sugar and combine.
  3. Add the eggs, lemon juice and zest and mix together.
  4. Transfer into a medium saucepan and constantly stir the lemon mixture over medium low heat until it thickens – about 10 minutes.
  5. Once the lemon curd has thickened, strain into a bowl.
  6. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator for 2 hours.
add sugar to butter and mix
Cream butter and sugar
eggs, juice and lemon zest in bowl
Add eggs, lemon juice and zest. Combine.
lemon curd cooking in saucepan
Cook over low heat.
lemon curd in strainer

17 Creative Uses For Lemon Curd Cake Filling

Lemon curd, with its vibrant flavor and silky texture, is a culinary gem that goes well beyond being a simple spread for scones. Let your creativity shine as you discover the various ways to incorporate this zesty delight into your culinary adventures. Here are some delightful uses for lemon curd that will elevate your dishes and desserts to a whole new level:

  1. Classic Scone Filling: Spread generously on freshly baked scones or biscuits for a timeless and indulgent treat.
  2. Cake Filling and Layering: Use lemon curd as a filling between cake layers to add a burst of flavor and moisture. Spread a thin layer on the top of cakes before frosting for a tangy surprise.
  3. Tart and Pie Filling: Create tantalizing lemon tarts or pies by using lemon curd as a filling. Top with whipped cream or meringue for a dreamy dessert.
  4. Parfaits and Dessert Cups: Layer lemon curd with yogurt, whipped cream, or granola in dessert glasses for a refreshing parfait.
  5. Pancake and Waffle Topping: Drizzle warm lemon curd over pancakes or waffles for a fruity twist on your breakfast favorites.
  6. Filling for Crepes: Spread lemon curd inside delicate crepes and fold them for an elegant and delicious treat. Crepes with lemon Curd Whipped cream is a must try.
  7. Ice Cream Topping: Warm up lemon curd slightly and use it as a delectable topping for vanilla or berry-flavored ice cream.
  8. Thumbprint Cookies: Fill the centers of thumbprint cookies with lemon curd before baking for a burst of flavor in every bite. Try this recipe for Shortbread Cookies with Lemon Curd.
  9. Cheesecake Swirl or Topping: Swirl lemon curd into cheesecake batter before baking to create a visually appealing and tangy addition. This Instant Pot Lemon Blueberry Cheesecake with Lemon Topping is so delicious.
  10. Breakfast Yogurt and Oatmeal Boost: Stir lemon curd into your morning yogurt or oatmeal for a bright and zesty kickstart to your day.
  11. Filling for Pastries: Fill puff pastry or filo dough with lemon curd to create delightful turnovers or strudels.
  12. Sandwich Spread: Spread lemon curd on toast or sandwiches for a unique and refreshing twist on the usual spreads.
  13. Lemon Bars: Use lemon curd as the base for making lemon bars. Layer it over a buttery crust and bake to perfection.
  14. Dessert Dip: Serve lemon curd as a dipping sauce for fresh fruit, cookies, or even cake cubes.
  15. Lemon Curd Trifle: Layer lemon curd with cake pieces, whipped cream, and fresh berries in a trifle dish for a stunning dessert presentation.
  16. Fillings for Macarons: Use lemon curd as a filling between delicate macaron shells for a sophisticated and delightful treat.
  17. Salad Dressing Base: Mix lemon curd with olive oil, vinegar, and herbs to create a tangy and bright salad dressing.
  18. Cream Puff Filling: Lemon Cream Puffs With Blueberries is the perfect recipe for this use.
homemade lemon curd in small jar with blue striped towel

Thick Lemon Curd for Cake Filling

Thick, sweetly tart lemon curd filling. Creamy and smooth, perfect for filling cakes, cookies or spreading on toast.
Print Pin Rate
Course: Dessert, Spreads and Fillings
Cuisine: American
Keyword: lemon curd,cake,cookies,filling
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Chill: 2 hours
Total Time: 2 hours 25 minutes
Servings: 16 tablespoons
Calories: 44kcal


  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • cup granulated sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • ¼ cup lemon juice (freshly squeezed)
  • 2 tablespoons lemon zest


  • In a mixing bowl, use a hand mixer to beat the butter.
  • Add the sugar and blend together.
  • Add the eggs, lemon juice and zest and mix together.
  • Transfer into a medium saucepan and constantly stir the lemon mixture over medium-low heat until it thickens – about 10 minutes.
  • Once the lemon curd has thickened, strain into a bowl.
  • Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator for 2 hours.


Be sure to keep the temperature on your burner on medium-low to avoid scorching the lemon curd.


Serving: 2tablespoons | Calories: 44kcal | Carbohydrates: 5g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 3g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Trans Fat: 0.1g | Cholesterol: 26mg | Sodium: 8mg | Potassium: 13mg | Fiber: 0.1g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 96IU | Vitamin C: 2mg | Calcium: 5mg | Iron: 0.1mg

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